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Priest Holmes had the best three season run in Chiefs History

Courtesy of the Denver Post

Over 35 games Holmes created a legacy for himself that will live on in Chiefs Kingdom


Quentin Morris @Quentincmorris

Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus

The Kansas City Chiefs have a deep history of quality running backs. Players like Jamaal Charles, Marcus Allen and Christan Okoye. None of them would have the same three year run like Holmes did.


Holmes went undrafted in 1997 due to a previous knee injury. Despite his production in the Big 12 Championship game where he had 3 touchdowns and 120 yards. Holmes did get signed as an undrafted free agent to the Ravens. 


Holmes had a quiet 1997 season but exploded onto the scene a year later when had an amazing week four against the Bengals. He ran all over the team, having 2 touchdowns and 173 yards. He finished the year with 1,008 yards and 7 touchdowns.  


The next year Holmes would have another knee injury that would sideline him after week 4. The Ravens would draft his replacement in Jamaal Lewis in the first round. This limited his production for the Ravens. He ended the season with 506 yards and a single touchdown. Up to this point in Holmes career he has rushed for 2,102 yards, 10 touchdowns. The Ravens would then let Holmes walk in free agency. He would be brought into Kansas City where the Chiefs had just hired head coach Dick Vermeil and would trade for QB Trent Green.  


The 2001 season would be the start of what’s to come, for the 27 year old running back. In the third game of the 2001 season Holmes would crush the Redskins defense with 225 total yards and 3 touchdowns. The following week he would rush for 150 yards against the Steelers. Holmes would nearly double his career numbers when he rushed for 1,555 yards and 8 touchdowns over the course of the season. This made Holmes the first undrafted running back, in the superbowl era, to lead the league in rushing at the end of the season. 


In the 2002 season Holmes did not miss a beat. The home opener against the Browns he scored 4 touchdowns and ended the day with 141 yards. His season would be cut short after getting hurt, in Denver in week 14. Despite that Holmes would lead the league in total yards with 2,287 and touchdowns with 24. That is good enough for sixth place all time in single season touchdowns. 


Once again Holmes would start off strong as he would score 2 touchdowns and have more than 180 yards in a win over the division rival Chargers. Only to back up that performance by bashing the Steelers for 122 yards and 3 scores. Holmes was the staple back on a team that had an average margin of victory of 15.2 points in the first 9 games. 


Holmes would finish the season with 27 rushing touchdowns, that is third best of all time and was the best of all time at that point in NFL history. He also added 1,420 rushing yards. 

Over that three year period he totaled 4,590 yards and 56 rushing touchdowns. 


Other Chiefs running back legends don’t come close to his three year run. Jamaal Charles’ best three year period had 3,829 yards and 26 touchdowns. Larry Johnson’s best three year period had 4,120

 yards paired with 46 touchdowns. Marcus Allen’s best three year run had 2,333 yards and 24 touchdowns and Christian Okoye had 3,316 and 28 touchdowns.    

Holmes would end his career fifteenth all time in rushing touchdowns totaling 86. That is above players like Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch. He also holds the record for both rushing touchdowns and rushing yards for undrafted free agents.   



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